Last night's episode of 'RTÉ Investigates' went behind the scenes of St James's Hospital, Dublin. It depicted the doctors and nurses working in the Intensive Care Units who are fighting to keep Covid patients alive.
The TV special, full title 'RTÉ Investigates: Inside Ireland's Covid Battle' looked at the realities of the country's biggest hospitals' fight against Covid-19.
In the past the series has looked at such subject matter as the care in crèches and nursing homes.
Last night's episode was filmed over 30 days in May and June with the use of PPE and social distancing. The result was a powerful episode depicting several angles to the subject matter, including looking at the young student nurses who went from studying to the frontline; stories from patients and their families unable to visit them; as well as figures that serve as a stark reminder of how serious the situation is. There was hope, but also much tragedy.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin shared his reaction to the episode on Twitter. He wrote: "Tonight’s #RTEInvestigates was a stark reminder, as restrictions are relaxed, of the indiscriminate cruelty of Covid-19 and the threat it represents. The courage, dedication and sensitivity of the team at @stjamesdublin, like @HSELive staff across the country, is an inspiration."
Tonight’s #RTEInvestigates was a stark reminder, as restrictions are relaxed, of the indiscriminate cruelty of Covid-19 and the threat it represents. The courage, dedication and sensitivity of the team at @stjamesdublin , like @HSELive staff across the country, is an inspiration.
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) June 29, 2020
Kathryn Thomas, Fran McNulty and Sinéad Crowley also shared their thoughts.
Well done #rteinvestigates @rte for reminding us all, esp today, that we cannot become complacent around COVID-19 To all frontline workers, your bravery, your compassion, your dedication for 13 weeks of what, at times, must have felt like a living hell, we are forever grateful ❤️
— Kathryn Thomas (@gokathrynthomas) June 29, 2020
Tonight’s superb #rteinvestigates is a reminder of a few things.
-The astonishing dedication of our nurses, everyday.
-The danger that Covid still poses to us all.
-The humanity of beautiful people like Lisa Connolly, and also, the value of public service broadcasting.
— Fran McNulty (@franmcnulty) June 29, 2020
They were all wonderful people but Lisa from the Granby Centre showed extraordinary love, care and devotion to Paddy #RTEInvestigates . Heroes, all
— Sinéad Crowley (@SineadCrowley) June 29, 2020
Others shared their responses to the episode on social media too.
To our porters
To our doctors
To our cleaners
To our paramedics
To our radiographers
To our security officers
To our catering workers
To our theatre operatives
To our radiation therapists
To our nurses and midwives
To our health care assistants
Thank you! #RTEInvestigates
— Paddy Cole (@PaidiCole) June 29, 2020
I rarely share personal stuff online, but....
RTing this just in case #RTEInvestigates wasn’t enough to encourage you to #WearAMask
Ps. I’m 32 and 3+ months on, some days I can barely sit up I’m so exhausted. Breathing easily....what’s that??? 💔 https://t.co/nkMld1o9Mf
— Dee (@gingerbreadmiss) June 29, 2020
I found tonight's #RTEInvestigates report a difficult watch. If you, like me, are in awe of the healthcare workers who nurse our COVID sick, then do everything you can to help them. Keep your distance, wash your hands, observe cough etiquette and please please #WearAMask 😷
— Duncan Smith TD (@DuncanSmithTD) June 29, 2020
To all frontline workers, a heartfelt thank you, especially @stjamesdublin for giving that emotional, powerful insight into Covid-19. Reminder also of the importance of independent public service journalism to help us better understand our shared realities. #RteInvestigates @rte
— Aine Kerr (@AineKerr) June 29, 2020
#RTEInvestigates tonight has been absolutely gripping viewing and a reminder of the brutal devastation Covid has caused. Let’s always remember the amazing work we saw by our frontline heroes first hand tonight! #neverforget
— Alan Kelly TD (@alankellylabour) June 29, 2020
This was essential viewing #rteinvestigates. On the day we unlock , it reminds us of what so many have lost.
— Mary Wilson (@Mary___Wilson) June 29, 2020
After watching #RTEInvestigates, I don’t want to hear another person talking about their hair, drinks, Penney’s, pubs, foreign holidays, just wear the masks and stop a second peak.
— Yve Nolan (@yvonne_nolan) June 29, 2020
Tonight’s #rteinvestigates is incredible. It’s so easy to get lost in the excitement of everything reopening today so such a stark reminder of the brutality of Covid-19 can be a real shock.
— Ellen Coyne (@ellenmcoyne) June 29, 2020
This is so heartbreaking. The kindness of Lisa, the friend and carer of the late Patrick Cummins is beautiful. #RTEInvestigates
— Eibhlin Mulroe (@EibhlinMulroe) June 29, 2020
We don't know the half of what nurses do. I have tears streaming down my face at how kind they are, and still talking to the lady that died is so beautiful and gentle. It's not something everyone could do. #RTEInvestigates.
— Deirdre (@deirdrenugent4) June 29, 2020
Next time you hear someone saying "the real damage was from the lockdown measures, not the virus itself"
No. It was the virus.
Sit the fuck down.#RTEInvestigates
— Anthony O'Connor (@Antcon7062) June 29, 2020
Part 2 of 'RTÉ Investigates: Inside Ireland's Covid Battle' airs tonight on RTÉ One at 9.35 p.m.